Woman With Small Child In Tow Opens Fire Inside Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Texas Megachurch, Suspect Dead

Texas authorities have confirmed the suspect who opened fire and injured two people at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church Sunday afternoon is dead.

Police Chief Troy Finner said that the shooting took place at 1:53 p.m., around the time that the Spanish language church service was scheduled to begin.

The suspect has been identified as a woman. Reports say she entered the church wearing a backpack and a trench coat and armed with a long rifle, Fox News reported.

Authorities also say she was accompanied by a “small child, approximately 4 to 5 years old,” Finner said.

After she began shooting, off-duty officers at the scene “engaged” the woman and returned fire. She was pronounced dead at the scene. 

A 57-year-old man was shot in the leg during the incident. The child who was with the shooter was also injured and remains in critical condition. 

During the press conference, Finner disclosed that the suspect mentioned that she had a bomb.

“Once she went down, officers reported back to us that she threatened that she had a bomb,” the police chief explained. “So we searched her vehicle, our bomb squad, and also the backpack [she brought].”

“No explosives were found, but she was also spraying some type of substance on the ground.”

Police said the shooting appears to be isolated.

During the press conference, senior pastor Joel Osteen thanked law enforcement and said he is “devastated” by the tragedy. 

“We don’t understand why all these things happened, but we know God’s in control,” Osteen said.

“We’re going to continue to to move forward. There are forces of evil, but the forces that are for us, the forces of God, are stronger than that,” he continued. “So we’re going to keep going strong and just, you know, doing what God’s called us to do, lift people up and give hope to the world again.”

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